My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

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May 27th, 2011

The Great Room Purge of 2011 (Part 2)

In the last installment of the Great Room Purge, we discussed the contents of my old sewing kit. Today, I thought I’d show you what I found in my high school wallet.

Aside from keys, a person’s wallet is the most important thing they carry. It’s got all of their vital information, all of their money, and anything else they feel may become necessary at a moment’s notice. For instance, my current wallet has my credit card, a very small amount of cash, my ID and my frequent buyer card for the local Thai massage place. You know, the essentials. I bet if you were to look in your wallet, you’d find you could successfully make it through the day with whatever was inside.

Which is why what I found when I emptied out my old wallet is so fantastic.

Let’s break it down.

First, there are some punch cards for not one, but two branches of the Sanrio store. Apparently I wanted to always be prepared to get a good deal on Kerokerokeroppi merchandise, whether I was in Thousand Oaks or Santa Monica. Not the most ridiculous thing to carry I suppose. But what about those business cards? Most of the time, you either carry your own business cards for “networking,” or the business cards of those people with whom you have “networked.” Or your therapist’s, in case of emergencies. I chose to carry the business cards of an over-priced, kitschy chain restaurant, and a British-themed gift shop in Central California. I can guarantee you that I never called to make reservations at a Mel’s Drive-In, nor emailed John or Maureen Sewell to ask if they had any spotted dick. But that’s what I carried around. By the way: in the case of the Awfully Civilized card, I am pretty sure I picked it up to look sophisticated. Mind you, this card was obtained on the same block on which I bought an over-sized gray hoodie on the grounds that it would make me look “tough.” So there you have it.

Next, you will notice that I also kept a couple of hotel key cards around.

I think the idea here was to make myself seem like a well-traveled, interesting person to anyone who happened to view the inside of my wallet. Like, say someone asked me if I could recommend a good place to buy “English Treasures” in Paso Robles. “Why, I know just the place,” I’d say, opening my wallet to fish out the business card. As I sorted through my stack of fascinating items, I could get to these hotel keys and say, “Oh, gosh, how embarrassing. I can’t believe I still have these in my wallet. I’ve been back from Dubai for over two weeks!” and then wait to be asked more about my exciting trip.

That never happened.

Also, the keys are probably from the Marriot in Santa Barbara.

But by far the strangest thing I found in my old wallet is this photograph:

Meet Connor.

Connor was my friend Erin’s older brother. This is his senior portrait. I have no idea why I have this photo in my wallet. I was not dating Connor, I was not interested in dating Connor, and, in fact, Connor didn’t even like ME all that much. I remember leaving a party with Erin and Connor and some other kids very late one night. Erin’s dad or somebody was driving the minivan and all of us children were having loud, shrieky conversations. Well, all of us children, except for Connor, who was sitting shotgun, hands folded on his lap, staring straight ahead. Over the ruckus, I heard a couple of familiar brass chords and realized we were listening to the classical radio station. “Hey! Shostakovich’s Fifth!” I yelled. Connor, without turning around, said, in his slow, gravelly, barely-post-pubescent tone, “Well. I guess you’re not as dumb as you look.” My excitement began to fade as I looked over at Erin. She closed her eyes, held up her hand and shook her head as if to say, “Don’t mind him.”

Perhaps I had this in my wallet to remind me that, though I may not be dumb, to some people, I sure look like I am.

Friends, there are still many, many mysteries to be uncovered in the mountains of stuff I took from my parents’ house. I hope you’ll come back to explore the next pile with me.

Until then, this is Dummy, signing off.

4 comments to The Great Room Purge of 2011 (Part 2)

  • Steve the Cat

    spotted dick? Is that an English delicacy or a urologic diagnosis?

  • Could be both, but I think “English delicacy” is a gross exageration. Maybe not to the Brits, but I’d rather eat anywhere than there.

  • Sue

    Loved this post. I do my own form of former-me-excavation from time to time, and it’s always amusing. I carried a London tube pass in my wallet for years after I’d done a semester abroad there. Did I think I could hop a train in my midwestern hometown? Did I think if someone spotted it they’d think I was cool? Why? Why do we do these funny things? I don’t know. But thanks for writing about your room purge. I love the Connor story.

  • Liz

    !! I had a tube map on my wall for YEARS! No one ever commented on it. Rightly so.

    We are all a little wacky.

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